Asia and NACRA sides book places in Hong Kong
Japan, Hong Kong, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados have all booked their places at the HSBC Sevens World Series core team qualifier to be played at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2014.
From the 2013/14 season a two-stage promotion and relegation process comes into effect for the World Series, with promotion to core team status for the 2014/15 campaign to be decided at round seven of this Series in Hong Kong.
There, 12 regional qualifiers will battle for the one promotion place on offer in a separate 12-team competition, and the four nations have booked their places after finishing in the top two positions of their respective regional events.
Japan beat Hong Kong 24-19 in the Cup final of the Singapore Sevens, the fourth and final round of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series 2013, to win the Singapore title and also claim back the Series title from Hong Kong. They finish one and two in the Asian region.
Meanwhile, at the North American & Caribbean (NACRA) Rugby Sevens championship for 2013 both Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados performed heroics to win through to the Cup semi finals. Although both sides lost - to Canada and USA - they progress to Hong Kong as the two highest-ranked non-core teams.
Trinidad & Tobago won their third place play-off 14-5 to finish as Caribbean champions and qualify not only for Hong Kong but also for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as the region's second representative, alongside Canada.
They join European sides Russia and Italy as well as Oceania qualifiers Cook Islands and American Samoa and Zimbabwe and Tunisia from Africa in the 12-team Hong Kong competition.